The Fourth Annual "Scare the Bejeebus Outta OrangeMoJoJo Contest"

"I have, indeed, no abhorrence of danger, except in its absolute effect - in terror."
-Edgar Allen Poe

HELL-OOOOOOOO-ooooooooooo??? I know it's been a while. Are you still there?

I'm sorry it's been so long. I've been a little tied up lately.

I'm really sorry to have left you hanging,

but you know I couldn't stay silent for long -

Add ImageESPECIALLY now that it's so close to Halloween!

I considered punishing all who doubted my return, but I chose to be merciful in making an example of only one of you. Don't make me come at you through your computer screen again, Rev.

Pic of Rev after I attacked him through his computer screen while he was typing in snarky comments about my "cobwebby blog."

I know this is getting more and more difficult every year, because few of you share my love of horror,

the macabre,

the wonderfully weird;

that delicious feeling of ice in your gut that bleeds to your bone marrow,

and turns your legs to stone.

This year I've come up with an extra-special treat for the winner of my little contest. Considering the length of my list (see bottom, erm, nearly the whole bottom half of this post, really), it's seriously amazing I get any response at all.

Well-written horror is thin on the ground, and I've read a lot of it.

A lot, but not all.

If there's a book out there or a story that I've missed, please let me know. Halloween is only a couple of weeks away and it's on a SATURDAY! Which means I'll get to stay up late. Really really late.

Hopefully scared ****less because of a book YOU recommended!

It's my thang.

If you send me the scariest title, I will send you a treat. And the book does not have to be classic horror. I mean, I love a well-written vampire-zombie chiller, but if you found a true crime story, a mystery/thriller - even a book by a Bronte (Wuthering Heights was a good suggestion, Mu!) - to be unnerving, that totally counts.

The last three winners were:

House of Leaves - Mark Danielewski (Hemlighet Forfattaren)
In Cold Blood - Truman Capote (Kelly)
The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty (Papa Schu)

Suggestions thus far:

Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury (Eevam)
The Owl Killers - Karen Maitland (Momster)
Brave New World - Adolf Huxley (Mere)
The Housing Boom and Bust - Thomas Sowell (DRoll)
Harvest Home - Thomas Tryon (Uncle George)
The Hot Zone - Robert Preston (Liz)
The Witching Hour - Anne Rice (Beth)
Sineater - Elizabeth Massey (Nepi)
Haunted - Chuck Palahniuk (Paul I)
The Vampire Lestat - Anne Rice (Aunt Sandy)
Carrion Comfort - Dan Simmons (Shannon)
Blindness - Jose Saramego (Evan)
Dracula, The Undead - Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt (Werewolf Boy)

OrangeMoJoJo's List of Banned ('cuz I've read 'em) Books:

Anything by Laurell Hamilton
Anything by Thomas Harris
Anything by Nathanial Hawthorne
Anything by Stephen King
Anything by Dean Koontz
Anything by HP Lovecraft
Anything by Robert McCammon
Anything by Edgar Allen Poe
Anything by Anne Rice

American Gods - Neil Gaiman
The Amityville Horror
by Jay Anson
Battle Royale - Koushun Takami
Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy
"The Casting of the Runes" - MR James
The Castle of Otranto - Horace Walpole
The Company of Liars - Karen Maitland
"Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde" - Robert Louis Stevenson
Dracula - Bram Stroker
The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty
The Family - Ed Sanders
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
Ghost Story - Peter Straub
Good Omens - Neil Gaiman
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
Helter Skelter - Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
House of Leaves - Mark Danielewski
The House on Haunted Hill - Shirley Jackson
In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
The Keep - Paul Wilson
The Last Coin - James P. Blaylock
"Miriam" - Truman Capote
The Monk - Matthew Lewis
"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs
The Moonstone - Wilke Collins
Necroscope - Brian Lumley
The Omen by David Seltzer
The Other - Thomas Tryon
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin
The Ruins by Scott Smith
Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dineson
Shadowland by Peter Straub
The Song of Kali - Dan Simmons
Swan Song - Robert McCammon
The Terror - Dan Simmons
The Trial - Franz Kafka
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James
Twilight - - Stephanie Meyer
Vathek - William Beckford
Weiland - Charles Brockden Brown
The Woman in White - Wilke Collins
World War Z - Max Brooks
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte


Dude, The Fireys are BACK!

Remember the Fireys? Those playful muppets from the movie Labyrinth who wanted to play catch with Sarah's head? God, I wish they'd succeeded. She was an annoy-ING whiner-butt! Anyhoo, they sang a song called "Chilly Down" while they flew their heads around by their flappy ears. Here's the clip:

Now listen to this song called "Zoomba" by a band SUPPOSEDLY called the Starlight Mints and TELL me this isn't the Fireys reunited. Maybe they lost the rights to their original name or something. Maybe the original drummer, Firey 5*, refused to agree to join the band or sell the rights to the name to the other 4 members, Firey 1, Firey 2, Firey 3, and Firey 4 because he (or she - never really knew the sex of those things) was still totally bitter over some incident where they were goofing off and they threw his head too far and it landed in The Bog of Stench and got stuck there in the muck and he had to listen to that other uber-annoying character, Sir Didymus, yammer on and on and on and ON for DAYS before he was finally able roll himself out by the use of sheer will and ear-power, only to find his so-called "friends" had totally not even NOTICED he was gone because they were too busy trying eachothers heads on his body and laughing insanely EVERY SINGLE TIME because that shit just never gets old.

Dude, it's EERIE - the exact same thing that happened to the Doors, but without the Bog or the dog or the rolling one's head like a log.

(I do love Fridays!)

*Why incidentally, were there three Firey 5s? Was this some kind of Spinal Tap exploding drummer situation? I would imagine any band member would be in danger, really, not just the drummer. They all did tend to get a bit wild.


Best Food Blog EVER

Luxirare.com. This is not food porn, it's food performance art.

Food is turned into pieces of art by a guy dressed in white down to his snazzy platform shoes.

Somehow he pulls off matching a white belt to a pair of white shoes without invoking Herb Tarlek.

I don't know why I read the text of this blog with a German accent? I mean, in my head, of course. I keep thinking of "Sprockets," but this blog is white on white whereas Dieter was more black on black:

Watching that "Sprockets" clip made me as happy as a little girl!

It's Official:

I no longer resemble Sandra Bullock.

So when you see her from now on, I ask that you don't think of me. This is how I want to be remembered:

Because unless I've had one to many glasses of Pinot at a mardi-gras-themed restaurant and I lose a bet, I'll never wear something with a top where they've pinned different colored napkins or other sundry table linens to my boobs.

Or satin, for that matter.

Or those shoes.

Unless they're really comfy.

And then I'll only wear them with jeans.


I Didn't Realize They Allowed Anime Comics

...to participate in America's Next Top Model? The contestant on the right proves me wrong.

Hey! Look Who's Back!


He's done the pendulum swing, going from a legend who commanded respect - especially from the Bears - to the butt-end of jokes made by the Bears.

Dude! Get a hobby!!


I received a letter from my insurance company stating that two of my medications are no longer listed on their formulary. Seeing as I already pay $15 over the copay for each of them I don't know what this is going to mean to my wallet, but whatever it is, I'll just have to pay it. They did helpfully offer me a "generic alternative" for each of them, though! How swell of them! See, a generic alternative is NOT the same as a generic equivalent. An alternative is not the same medicine as the brand, whereas an equivalent is the same medicine. For example, Zyrtec, an allergy medicine, has no generic equivalent. Not yet. Zyrtec is citirizine HCl, but generic drug makers cannot make cetirizine HCl until Pfizer's patent runs out. A generic alternative to Zyrtec would be loratidine, the generic equivalent of Claritin. With me so far? The only thing these two drugs - Zyrtec and loratadine - have in common is that they're both prescribed for allergies. They are NOT the same drug. Patients are being told to ask their doctors for generic alternatives because they are cheaper than the brand name meds that currently have no generic equivalents available, not because they've been proven to work as well for the patient.

I have no problem with generic equivalents. With very few exceptions (such as blood thinners and thyroid medications) they are exactly the same medicine as what's in the pricier brand names. If a generic is available, I'll happily switch to it. Unfortunately, two of the medications that I'm currently taking have no such equivalent, not yet. I'd tried the cheaper "alternative" medications for each of them for months before switching to the pricier brand, and I'd switched to the new medications because the old ones didn't work for me. One of them even gave me some nasty side effects that I don't suffer from with the newer medicine.

So now I get this letter telling me to ask my doctor to switch me to these two alternative medicines in order to save myself some money. Yes, they do define what a generic alternative is in a footnote, but I'm thinking quite a few people are going to see the words "no longer covered" and "generic" and they're going to call their docs right then and there.

What gets me about this is our insurance is REALLY FREAKING EXPENSIVE. Like, SERIOUSLY expensive. So why the letter? I'm sure I'm not the only one who got one. Why the corner cutting? And why now? Why were these drugs taken off the formulary now when I've been taking them both for over 7 years?

Could it be they're paying more out to lobbyists and politicians to try and cut off any changes to the existing health care system from which they are making bajillions of dollars, and they need every buck they can get to fight the switch to a universal health care program, or even a competitive co-op program? Call me a cynic, but the timing is pretty coincidental.


I Wish Rupert Had Consulted His Rock Star Twin Before Going Under the Knife

So when I started this post, I'd written "Steve Perry and Rupert Everett: Separated At Birth?" which was hilarious because the only way Steve Perry resembles Rupert Everett is.... well, they don't resemble each other at all. Not really.

I mean, sure, they both have brown hair, but that's where the similarity ends.

Steve Perry sings on-very-high-key and Rupert sings badly off-key backup vocals for Madonna's crappy remakes. Steve Perry is a mascot for the Chicago Sox

and Rupert Everett may have dated a baseball star. Or not. For someone so open about his sexuality he sure keeps his private life private. Also Steve Perry seems like a pretty nice guy, whereas Rupert Everett proves he's an ignorant, shallow jerk every time he opens his mouth.

Anywhozits, we can safely conclude that Steve Perry does not resemble Rupert Everett in any way. You know who else does not resemble Rupert Everett?

Rupert Everett.

I came across a current photo of Rupert that made me choke and sputter into my fat free Stonyfield vanilla yogurt:

This right here totally calls for a string of interrobangs

For the love of all things orange what did he do to his face I'm sorry, but is he looking to break into the game show marketI hadn't heard.

He went from this:

to this:

to this:

to this:

to this

to this:

to this

to this

(DEFINITELY showing some work done here)

To the game show host shot I showed you earlier.


Now back to the reason for my original post's title. I'd typed Steve Perry but I MEANT JOE Perry, of Aerosmith fame. He strongly resembles a younger Mr. Everett.

It's almost eerie. They're even about the same height. However, RE never called on Joe to consult with him about plastic surgeons. And I could be wrong, but I'm guessing Joe might have had some work done.

You see, he's 9 years older than Rupert Everett. RE was born in 1959; Perry in 1950. And, too, Perry is with Aerosmith. A band not known for sedate easy listening and early bedtimes. Aerosmith is to, say, The Jonas Brothers what rabid tasmanian devils are to downy baby chickens. Or downy semi-clad blondes.

(I'm pretty sure Steven Tyler is NOT wearing a ring on his left finger for the same reason as Joe Jonas)

So, yeah. Joe Perry is no downy chicken. Nor is he blonde.

This metaphor has totally gotten away from me some how....?

But he has been with Aerosmith since the mid-seventies. So he should not look like this:

He should look a wee bit more like this:

Yet for all the nasty things RE had to say about Michael Jackson and his multiple surgeries (I'm not going to link to them because they're really just dumb), he seems to have be frequenting MJ's surgeon. He has an older, better looking version of himself to turn to in Joe Perry, a version that has been doing a pretty stunning job of looking, well, Perry actually resembles himself, yet Everett chooses instead to go to the guy they used as a consultant for Repo! The Genetic Opera.

Though instead of the package that MJ had signed up for ("Whiter Than White, Disappearing Nose, Propofol for Personal At-Home Use"), he's opted for the the Classic 1980s Game Show Host package: "'Flesh' (the 1979 Crayola crayon color), Bruce Campbell Chin, 5cc Botox PRN expression."

Though imittion is the highest form of flattery!


"Nothing I Can Do

It's (a literal translation of) a Total Eclipse of the Heart:"

More Pics From Wales, Day 1 (13 June, 2009)

Wind turbines along the A494

I'm surprised to find I didn't take very many pictures of the cottage we stayed in until later in the week. I must have been just too exhausted to think to do anything but crash as soon as we arrived and sorted out who was sleeping where, so please enjoy some more pics of Rug Chapel.

Flower boxes along the fence leading to the gift shop/entrance to the Chapel grounds

Funky plant outside front door of gift shop

Rug Chapel

Baptismal font (note the writing is in Welsh)

The pews were carved from one piece of wood.

Detail in the molding. There's a different animal/figure in the center of each panel.

Stained glass windows on side wall

Wooden chandelier. My dad said "This place reminds me of New Glarus," which goes along with Tom and Sioban's theme that Wales is the Wisconsin of the UK. You can see the railing for the small balcony in the background.

Ceiling above the altar painted with stars and angels. You can barely make out the date painted on the crossbeam: 1637.

Beautifully painted crossbeam and fun squiggly painted ceiling

Chapel's exterior

My first pic of the Welsh countryside taken from the Rug Chapel parking lot

There are some more excellent pictures here. I have a real problem with lighting inside dark old buildings. The flash is too harsh and washes everything out (ie: the chandelier), but you risk not seeing anything at all (ie: the detailed carving along the sides of the pews) if you don't use a flash.

We didn't see nearby Llangar All Saints Church which I'm totally kicking myself for now. It's not easy to get to, and you do have to arrange for a key, so going on the same day as Rug was out of the question. We toyed with coming back on our way back to the airport, but there was just too much to do and see so it fell through the cracks. Llangor Church is a much older church, parts of which were built in the 15th century, and several of the features - including the wall paintings - have been preserved.

Including this one, painted in the 17th century:

Skeleton, with grave digging tools at the ready, holding an arrow aimed at the congregation.